Representation of marginalised communities on the world stage, especially on a platform as big as Olympic sports is important, to ensure that people belonging to these communities don't feel alone with regards to their identity. The LGBTQ+ community also suffers from a lack of representation in the world, from governments to major sporting leagues. To celebrate Pride Month, we bring into conversation athletes who are successful sportspersons, and belong to the LGBTQ+ community.
Yulimar Rojas Rodríguez is a Venezuelan athlete who competes in the Women's Triple Jump event. A highly decorated athlete, Rojas is a four-time world champion, an Olympic Silver Medallist, and holds the World Record for Women's Triple Jump at 15.74 m ( 51 ft 71⁄2 in).
Not only is she an extremely successful athlete, but Rojas is also a force to be reckoned with. She holds herself to a certain standard and quotes her humble beginnings as the reason behind her thirst for becoming the best version of herself.
In an interview with Olympic Channel, when asked how she would describe herself, Rojas said, "Yulimar Rojas is brave, joyful, and a committed person. I’m always giving my best. And, above all, I’m a warrior.”
Yulimar Rojas is very open about her sexuality, which sends out a message to those searching for representation on track. Speaking about her sexuality and self-expression with the Spanish daily El Pais, Rojas said, "My
orientation has always been important to me and to my career. Since I started sports, I have always tried to fight for the ideologies and rights of women and the LGBT community."
Upon reading her interview, the statement that really stuck, and one that truly needs to be remembered is this - “It is also a leap for love and life to be respected, the desire to love and to be loved is respected, and human rights to be valued every day.”